Buy to Let is the new black

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) data for quarter 2 of 2011 showed a significant increase in both the volume and value of new buy to let mortgages. The number of buy to let mortgages taken out increased from 27,600 in Q1 to 32,000 in Q2, and value from £2.9billion to £3.5billion.

This has undoubtedly been fuelled by a greater demand for private rented accommodation and an increase in the amount of rent achievable. In addition buy to let landlords have had access to a wider range of competitive buy to let mortgage deals which have enabled them to remortgage existing buy to lets as well as buy new.

Traditionally buy to let landlords let primarily to young singletons and couples, but with difficulties being faced by many in getting onto the housing ladder, or indeed being forced off it, that profile is beginning to change. The average age of a first time buyer is increasing and so too is the average age of the rented accommodation community.

Research from buy to let specialist lender, Paragon, has shown an increase in the proportion of landlords planning to purchase family orientated housing. Specifically, of landlords looking to purchase during the current quarter, 41% are looking to invest in semi detached houses vs. 28% in Q2 , and 22%are looking to invest in a detached property vs. Just 9% in Q2. Clearly they are seeing a growing demand from family groups for private rented accommodation.

Overall, there is a growing confidence in the buy-to- let sector which is good given the constraints still in play in the residential market. After all, everyone needs a roof over their head, whether it is in a property they own or one they rent.

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